Monday, May 31, 2010

Dark Bars

The new issue of Esquire is on newsstands everywhere, with a nice piece about the best bars in America.

What I especially found scintillating was a segment about the concept of "the dark bar", one which is so dark inside that when you enter it from the sunny outdoors, you are temporarily blind until your eyes gradually adjust. One in which you can barely see your fellow inebriants and that's just the way you like it, as the song says, "in a dimly-lit corner at a place outside of town".

Some bars just don't get the dark thing. I remember when my theatre company took part in the ill-fated "Theatre Hop" in a Louisville bar that will remain nameless, the bar manager refused to turn off the lights and turn off the television. Nor did they like the idea of us covering up their sunlight-filled windows. God forbid that a place should, you know, set a mood.

I would think that the average Joe, after a hard day at the office under evil soul-sucking fluorescent lights, would embrace the idea of coming to a nice, cool, dark and spooky man-cave lit only by candles and neon. Maybe for some, vestigial fears of the dark linger from childhood.

When there's an official Transylvania Gentlemen saloon one day - and mark my words, there will be - rest assured it shall be dark as a dungeon, dear reader.

- - JSH

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